City of Mesa, AZ

Archaeolgy Laboratory

AzMNH has a state of the art archaeological laboratory located within the main museum building. Laboratory volunteers, members of the Southwest Archaeology Team, analyze the materials recovered from museum sponsored excavations, many of them performed by SWAT members.

People who join the lab crew receive one-on-one instruction in the analysis process. Most of the work focuses on sorting and identifying prehistoric ceramics (pottery) from the Hohokam area.

Volunteers working in the archaeology laboratory.
Volunteers working in the archaeology laboratory.


Boy Scouts working on the archaeology merit badge in the archaeology laboratory.
Boy Scouts working on the archaeology merit badge in the archaeology laboratory.

Ed Mack identifying prehistoric ceramics in the archaeology laboratory.
Ed Mack identifying prehistoric ceramics in the archaeology laboratory.

A Tonto Polychrome vessel, dating to the Classic Period.
A Tonto Polychrome vessel, dating to the Classic Period.


Broken vessels on Hohokam pithouse floor. Archaeologists
Broken vessels on Hohokam pithouse floor. Archaeologists discover most prehistoric ceramics in this condition, which are then studied in the laboratory.